Sirpreis: I only recently stopped using SLS because until I read it on this forum, it had never occurred to me that SLS might be the cause of my problem. If my lips had been as extreme as some of the pics on here, I probably would have been more desperate, and I would have found this forum much sooner. But instead, I just thought that I had a really, really bad case of chapped lips, and that if I could just find the right lip balm or product, my issue would be resolved.
My lips had been extremely chapped for years, but in the past year they had started getting even worse, and I was getting a little desperate for some kind of relief. Then even when I found this forum, there are SO many posts and options and ideas, that it took me awhile to come across the ones that mentioned SLS.
Although I had eliminated all chemicals from my skincare routine for the past few years (in things I put ON my face and body), for some reason it had never occurred to me to look more deeply into my oral care products (toothpaste and mouthwash). Seems kinda stupid in retrospect, since removing chemicals from my skincare had totally eliminated the many rashes I used to get on my face and body. But I guess toothpaste just seemed so benign to me, that I never really thought about it at all? I mean, even little children put it in their mouths a few times a day, so I never imagined it might contain anything harmful. If I had not found this forum, and people mentioning eliminating SLS, I might never have tried it, and my problem would never have been solved.
As for my lips, my lower lip was always MUCH worse than my upper lip. It always had more dead skin patches, and far more peeling and cracking. I always found that very bizarre, as it seemed like both my lips should have been equally affected? Often my upper lip was totally symptom free, and when it was affected, it was to a much lesser degree. I guess my dead skin patches must have been on the thin side, because they did not look as severe as some of the pics posted on this forum. However, when I would pick at them or peel them off, it would often cause significant bleeding, so I guess they must have been thick enough to go down into the next, living layer of skin?
I guess that still does not answer the question of whether or not I actually had EC, but at the very least, I seem to have had many similar symptoms, but at a less severe level?
One possible fact that might have affected the situation is that I am very, very sturdy, and seem to have a very robust immune system. When all around me get ill (colds, flu, food poisoning), I either do not get ill at all, or I get very slightly ill (in comparison) and for a much shorter duration. It seems possible that this could apply to EC as well? And that might explain why my symptoms were so similar, yet less severe?